“Maul Santa” to appear in Shades of Santa from @ThingsInTheWell #Horror #Christmas #anthology #hohoho #hohohorror #charity

Hi folks,

I’m stoked to be announcing that I’ve signed on with Things in the Well to publish a flash fiction story, “Maul Santa,” in the upcoming Shades of Santa anthology. This is particularly big news for two reasons:

  1. All proceeds go to charity, so the more copies you buy, the more good gets done in this world. Feed your need for fear while racking up those karma points!
  2. In a far less significant but still fun sense, I’ve had my eye on this company for a while, and submitted two stories to them in the past, which were not accepted. I loved the stories I wrote for ’em though, and both went on to big things elsewhere, so it all worked out.

I’ll update ya when it’s out, which should be relatively soon, considering it wouldn’t make sense to release a holiday anthology in, say, June. In the meantime, be good and do good.

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#BookReview: Little Dead Things #Horror #Flashfiction @Fictisha

Note: I received an advanced review copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

There’s an elegance and, more importantly, a punch to short fiction that often goes overlooked. Publication of an impactful novel, oft-toted as one of literature’s highest accomplishments, not to mention most prose writers’ major goal, drastically overshadows those who prefer their tales to be neatly surmised in just a few thousand words or less. Significantly less, in the case of drabbles, which can only be 100 words.

Jo-Anne Russell’s latest collection, Little Dead Things, is a 41-story collection of flash fiction, stories ranging from 100 word drabbles to just a couple pages. Illustrated by Jeffrey Kosh with a forward by Franklin E. Wales, this book is perfect for those who want a break from the long-haul of the fifty-thousand-plus-word stories others frequently celebrate. Whether this is because you’re short on time or you just prefer sprints to marathons, it’s sure to have a story that suits your speed.

Some stories stand out as being particularly well-written, combining the weird with the mundane in very unsettling ways. “The Apricot Poodle,” a drabble that I won’t describe, since describing something so short would necessitate spoilers, is one such story. “The Fun House” and “Loose Change” are great little jamais vu pieces, where reality shifts sideways and puts some truly odd events at the center of everyday life. Others, like “Mama,” are more psychological in nature, eschewing the weird for tales about ordinary people doing the sorts of things you’d see them getting arrests for on the 5 O’clock news. A few, like “Snake Eyes,” fall smack in the middle, serving as warnings about how regular human darkness might unleash a very different monster. “The Promised Land,” I’d argue, has great potential for another story, short or otherwise.

A few of these carry influence from other notable pop culture figures, such as “A Murder of Crows,” which channels some clear Hitchcock vibes. “Jabberwock Tea” is another one, and those thinking it’s an Alice and Wonderland piece won’t be disappointed (those who’ve wanted to read about zombies in A+W will be thoroughly delighted).

With a collection such as this, not all tales are going to stand out as winners. The presence of some of these far more engaging stories creates a wider, more obvious rift with those that fall short. I won’t specify the ones that didn’t quite measure up, as it’s entirely possible other readers will enjoy them, and I don’t want to discolor that perception ahead of time. While just as well-written, they aren’t quite as original or engaging as the others, and some of the truly unique and bizarre plotlines make these fall flat.

Overall, Little Dead Things lives up to its name, and horror fans are absolutely going to find stories they enjoy. It doesn’t matter if the readers want realistic horror or weird/supernatural showdowns, because these little bites make an overall great meal. As the name suggests, the stories are little and chock full of strange, mysterious, terrible deaths, so this collection is well worth the time. Whether you read it start to finish, or grab an afternoon coffee and knock a few out over your break at work, it’ll be worth the time and money.

Dad Infinitum: #Shortstory #horror #flashfiction #free

Dad Infinitum

Flash fiction. 100 words. No repeats.

I traced a figure eight on Catherine’s forehead. Sweet daughter, hands crossed over her chest, unmoving; she was more precious than ever before, pale skin glowing under faint moonlight. Death makes masterpieces of us all. Frail child, even in infancy, how did anyone fail you so?

Nodding off is never harmless. One brief second’s blackout, then jerking back to reality, hearing shrill screaming as headlights roared forward. Cutting the wheel accomplished nothing.

Lids flutter open, revealing blue eyes, stretched wide with surprise. Time for making amends. My rotten index finger pressed against chapped lips, dead voice whispering, “Daddy’s here. Forever.”

The Soul is Only so Deep

Fun news! My flash fiction “The Soul is Only so Deep” just got accepted for publication in the next issue of The Sirens Call ezine. I can’t go into much detail because, you know, it’s flash fiction, but be sure to check it out. I’ll drop a follow-up post when the issue is released.

In the meantime, keep up to date on my latest happenings, words of wisdom, guest posts, and reblogs by clicking the Follow button at the sidebar, or head on down to @kevinjlholton to find me in the twitterverse.

And don’t forget, you’re awesome!